"Root had a bloody fine record playing normally" - Ian Chappell dismisses England star adopting Bazball method of batting

India  v England - 3rd Test Match: Day Four
India v England - 3rd Test Match: Day Four

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell was dismissive of England star Joe Root adopting the much-discussed Bazball batting style when he already had an outstanding record playing his way.

The 33-year-old got dismissed playing a reverse scoop against Jasprit Bumrah at the most inopportune time to spark an English collapse in the first innings of the recently concluded third Test against India in Rajkot. With England coasting at 224/2, Root's dismissal saw them lose their final eight wickets for a mere 95 runs to be bowled out for 319 and concede a 126-run lead.

Speaking to World Wide of Sports, Chappell felt premeditated shots are never the way to go in Test cricket, especially for someone like Root, who scored quickly playing his usual style.

"Root had a bloody fine record playing normally, and he was a quick scorer playing normally. I don't see why he's trying to change things drastically, and I've never believed you should play premeditated shots," said Chappell.

Contrary to common belief, Root has averaged over 50, a tick above his overall average of 49.32, since Brendon McCullum took over as head coach in mid-2022 and implemented the Bazball method of attacking batting.

However, the champion batter has struggled massively in the ongoing series against India, scoring only 77 runs at an average of under 13. England trail the five-match series 1-2 after back-to-back defeats in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot.

"It's got to be according to the conditions and also who's bowling" - Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell supported top-order batters taking the aggressive approach but felt it must be timed based on the game situation and the bowler in operation.

While England have achieved tremendous success by winning 14 of 21 Tests since adopting the Bazball approach, they have suffered batting collapses due to questionable shot selection.

On batting aggressively in Tests, Chappell said:

"You can't always do it – it's got to be according to the conditions and also who's bowling. Some bowlers you can score off a lot quicker than others, but when a really good bowler is bowling a good spell, you've got to be prepared to try and battle it out and think to yourself 'Well, when he goes off, it'll get a bit easier."
"You're always trying to score runs – that's got to be your prime aim. But, you've also got to rerealizen some conditions, against some bowlers you can score quicker than others," he added.

Despite his recent struggles, Root averages a healthy 49.32 after 138 Tests with 30 centuries.

The Bazball approach has also improved the overall batting numbers of openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett, among others in the English lineup.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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